>Before I went down to Birmingham to spend time with my parents while my dad went into hospital, I was told by a clairvoyant I’d be getting a job offer soon that would involve travel in the near future, and where did I fancy going? I said I always fancied Cuba or Colombia, a bit of a Romancing the Stone adventure, but I couldn’t see it, and definitely (note spelling – another pet hate) not in the next year. She also told me my dad would be fine and the operation would be a success.
1st job offer out of the blue
While I was in Birmingham I received a message from an old friend. We’d started out as business acquaintances years and years ago, and had become good friends. So I went to visit him in his home. And he had a proposition for me. I’m not going to go into detail just yet, because it’s still up in the air with a lot of legal stuff he has to sort out beforehand. But it involves writing and it involves travel.
[pause while that sinks in]
I’m really excited about this work and everything that goes with it, but for now I’ll just refer to it as “the Cuban job”.
The day before my dad went for his tests to see if his operation was a success, something happened, and I said: “That’s good, then. It means the operation has worked.” I’ve not been in health/nursing for 25 years and I know nothing about my dad’s condition, but I was certain that he’d pass all his tests the following day.
I went home that day as I had a uni run to Sheffield, but the next day I spoke to my dad and he sounded like a dog with two tails. He’d passed all of his tests, the operation was a success, and he was going to be fine.
2nd job offer out of the blue
The same clairvoyant had previously told me that I’d be hearing from a past editor who would have another job offer for me, and sure enough, I got an email from the editor I first met while working for Writers’ News who took me from the publication he was working on at the time to the one he moved to. He’s moved again and I’d not heard from him since I moved up here until this email out of the blue. That went a bit quiet so I thought maybe it had fallen through, but confirmation came in at the weekend that his proposal had been accepted and how did I feel about the work? Writing work again.
I’ve done my research and it looks like fun, but it’s something I’ve never done before. I’m also not sure how confidential it is, so I’m going to “do a Devon” and call this one “Confidential Job No 1”. I’m calling it no 1 because I’m hoping there will be other projects in the future and if I’m very good this time, I may get a cherry next time. It’s another project I’m starting to get a bit excited over.
I was notified last week that things would be changing at work next year. Things are changing company-wide and we’re instigating those changes from January. I have to get website work done and dusted by then so that when we go live we have the latest information possible on there instead of the stale stuff currently gathering dust. There was news on the actual magazine too, which will mean an increase in my workload, which will mean less twiddling-of-thumbs time. I won’t be increasing my hours though, I need them for my own stuff.
Because we’re not getting our quarterly bonuses at work at the moment, we’re having to look for that financial deficit elsewhere. Yes, a bonus is a bonus, but it’s also contractual and it’s based on last year’s profits, not this year’s, so technically the money should have been put aside. Because it’s worked out on “last year” it’s unlikely we’ll get a bonus next year, but that’s ok because we can build it in to our budgets and plan accordingly. Losing it this year has been a shock. I expect that we will get it, and it will be nice when it gets here, but in the meantime, those of us not entitled to financial assistance (like me, ever) need to find work elsewhere.
Writing from life
As a result, I’ve been writing fillers like there’s no tomorrow. I’m amazed at where these ideas have been coming from. I’ve only been stuck once, so far, but I was able to dip into the wonderful Writing from Life by Lynne Hackles. I did the exercises ages ago so they’re already there, in my notebook, waiting for such a moment.
I had the urge to buy this book over and over again but was discouraged from doing so because I “should be writing instead of reading books about writing”. Well, I happen to like reading books about writing, and I’ve known Lynne a very long time and wanted to boost her bank account a tiny bit with my little royalty. So I got the book in the end and I’m glad I did. I also urge anyone that doesn’t already have it to go out and get it. Lynne has always been very successful and very inspirational.
One of the things Lynne advocates is to look at every single page in a magazine and think: What can I write/provide for this page? And this is what I’ve been doing. Obviously the expert pages are not for me, and there are plenty of others out there who like to get the RTE (readers’ true experience) interviews and do all the research and sharing of fees, etc, but not me. I can, however, provide fillers, letters, pictures, thoughts, opinions (hands up everyone that’s surprised …), regular articles, and short stories.
So that’s what I’ve been busy doing.
More weird stuff
Last night I spoke to my dad on the phone. He’s sounding better and better every time I speak to him, and he and Mom are getting out a lot more now. I said, again, that we needed rain.
This morning, it’s peeing down, again …
I also spoke to a shaman last night, for the first time ever, and it was one of the nicest conversations I’ve ever had. She said my “messenger” is an owl, a lovely, tawny, wise owl with beautiful big eyes. She asked if I ever found feathers. Well, yes – I have two cats and they’re both killing machines … but I don’t think she meant that kind of finding feathers. Then she said: “Look out for a feather – it’ll be a message to you from your spirit.”
She had lots of really nice, positive things to say. She said she could see a history book with my name on the spine, so I was to get on with it and meet my contractual deadline … (how does she know?). She said she could see a lot of fiction around me and many years of published work already behind me. She told me I need to regain my confidence in my own ability, that it had been too long and that I could and would do it. She also said I was a natural healer and people gravitate to me when they need healing on an emotional level. Well, that seems true enough too.
This morning when I opened the front door, there was a feather on my step …
I’ve never, ever seen a feather at the front of the house. It simply isn’t that kind of environment.